The guys who write our daily posts on consecutive days have a tough gig. I write one per week and it’s hard enough to come up with new general thoughts on playing daily. But since I’m filling in for Mr. Jones, I’m having to come up with something for the second day in a row. To make things easy, I’ll piggyback on what I discussed yesterday which was using super cheap starting pitchers like Scott Carroll and hedging against them.
Carroll’s price was only $2,700 yesterday, and he delivered massive value by allowing just three base runners and zero earned runs over 6.2 innings with five strikeouts. He also got the win which pushed his point total for the day to 12.92. To put in terms of value, Carroll only cost you about $209 per fantasy point he got you. Getting that kind of value from any other spot on your roster is virtually impossible. The last time a hitter hit it big for me was Steve Pearce at the end of June when he hit two home runs and scored 17 points. At his price he cost you $461 per fantasy point. That’s still an excellent number, but it’s more than double what Carroll did yesterday.
More importantly, Pearce was one of 350 or so hitters to choose from that day and was the only one who hit two bombs. Sure, maybe only 100 were really capable of going yard twice, but that’s still impossible to predict. But Carroll was the only insanely cheap starter yesterday. Sure, the odds of him producing that kind of value weren’t great, but you knew one guy was capable of producing that kind of value, not one of a hundred you could choose from. When the only risk is how the player will perform and not which player will perform well, you have a much better chance of getting that insane value.
As for hedging, the more I think about it, the more it only truly makes sense with a super cheap starter. What I mean is it only makes sense if you’re only disappointed with your pitcher play if he doesn’t score at least three or so points. If the starter musters less than two points, it’s unlikely your hedge stack didn’t do anything for you. It doesn’t mean they went off and won you a GPP, but they likely return some value in that scenario. If you were hoping the value play pitcher would get you eight or nine points, it’s much easier to envision a scenario where he disappoints and a hedge stack also disappoints. So on those days when someone super cheap is out there, take a flier on them and hedge.
The Daily Five
Trevor Bauer ($9,492) – Of the six pitchers under $11K today, Bauer has easily been the best pitcher this year. He’s got the best K-BB% (12.5%) and SIERA (4.05) by a wide margin. And he’s facing the Yankees who are 8% below league average against right-handed pitching. He looks like the best value play of the day.
Phil Hughes ($14,799) – Hughes got his walk rate below average the last two years, but he’s taken it to another level this year. His walk rate is so low that it sounds even more impressive when you talk about it in terms of raw numbers. Hughes has unintentionally walked just 11 of the 447 batters he has faced. That 2.5% BB% is the best among qualified starters. In fact, it’s a full percentage point better than David Price who has the second best walk rate. The Mariners are a better matchup for left-handers than they are right-handers, but they’re still below average against RHP. There are probably only five starters I like better than Hughes going today, but he’s a lot cheaper than those other five.
Padres Stack – The Padres will face lefty Franklin Morales today who has a pretty big platoon split. For his career he has allowed a .360 wOBA to right-handed hitters compared to a .282 wOBA against lefties. The Padres faced a lefty yesterday and led off with their three best hitters against left-handed pitching in terms of wRC+ over the last three years: Chris Denorfia ($5,013), Chase Headley ($4,806) and Carlos Quentin ($6,354). That three-man stack will only cost you a little over $16K, which is a pretty nice price for three above average hitters with a good matchup in the best ballpark for hitters.
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